Naphalai's Diary: August 12-25
Sorry there was no Diary last week as I attended only one event earlier—and it was held in Singapore—so I have combined the last 14 days into this one report. Singapore may be an ASEAN destination, but it has moved beyond Asean in so many ways. It is almost like a member of the First World but in a tropical setting. My flight landed at Changi’s Terminal One and I was through immigration, picked up my bags and in the hotel limousine in half and hour. When in Singapore, you get the feeling that everything works—and most times they do, unlike in Bangkok where often they don’t. But perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on my home town. It’s precisely because thongs don’t run like clockwork that people find it an interesting and exciting city to live in.
Rolex Perpetual Planet Symposium
Anyway, back to Singapore. I was there at the invitation of Rolex, a watch company, but didn’t see a single timepiece. The brand, which started off supporting exploration for discovery and now does so as a means to preserve the natural world, organised the Perpetual Planet Symposium at the Natural Gallery. The key speakers were marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle whose Mission Blue project works to preserve what she calls Hope Spots for a healthy marine environment; and National Geographic Society photographer David Doubilet, whose images have helped to raise awareness of the need to protect the underwater habitat. It was an inspirational experience to meet them and listen to the work they have done over almost half a century.
Dining In SG
In addition to the serious stuff we were also taken to some of the city state’s top restaurants, including Violet Oon for Peranakan cuisine, Yan Ting for Chinese and JAAN by Kirk Westaway. I stayed on for another day after that to saatisfy my craving for Singapore street food, such as nasi lemak, satay and assam laksa. And yes, I had salads for the next few days to work off all that extra eating.
Last week was very busy, with lots of events as well as closing a very late September issue. IconSiam hosted L’Elegante Thai featuring Thai fabric turned into creative fashion by leading Italian house Antonio Marras and the London-based Thai brand Sorapol by Sorapol Chawaphatanakul. Together with the Ministry of Commerce and Maximage, Italian ambassador HE Laurenzo Galanti presided over an exhibition as well as an extravagant show of the collections from the two designers.
Tory Burch FW2019
Another fashion event was the presentation of Tory Burch’s fall-winter 2019 collection at the boutique at EmQuartier. Joining distributors Orand Puiphanthavong and Suvadee Phungbunphra of PP Group was the brand’s senior regional PR manager Flora Lee to introduce the latest collection inspired by the avant-garde Black Mountain College. A dinner was held the previous evening at Canvas on Thonglor for senior editors hosted by Lee.
Still on fashion Santiburi Koh Samui held a press conference at U-Sathorn to announce Fashion Mania, showcasing the creations of World Peace Ambassador and designer Kai Ukas, at the resort on September 2. She works with locally woven textiles from southern Thailand to present the culture, heritage and identity of that part of the country.
And The Power Of Radiance Award Goes To...
Meanwhile Cle de Peau Beaute announced its Power of Radiance award recipient for Thailand Nathrada Lekhathanachon, founder of EdWings Education at Park Hyatt Bangkok. This is the brand’s inaugural global programme that honours women who empower girls through education. Joining the event introduced by Cle de Peau Beaute’s brand manager Yupares Kunawong was Manatsanun Phanlerdwongsakul, the Thai brand influencer.
Suriyon Throws A Party
It’s difficult for a hyper-active person like Beauty Gems’ managing director Suriyon Sriorathaikul to keep still and last week he threw a day-long party for the open of his new flagship store at EmQuartier. As usual a large number of fans and friends turned out to congratulate him and wife Mega on the new store, which also carries Judith Lieber evening bags.
Introducing The Cosm
Furniture lovers had the opportunity to appreciate Cosm, Herman Miller’s first task chair with an automatic tilt, designed by Berlin-based Studio 7.5. It was unveiled at Siam Paragon by retailer and exclusive distributor Chanintr. The chair comes in three back heights and six shades.
Blancpain X Fine Dining
I also went to two food events. The first was hosted by watchmaker Blancpain as part of the Art de Vivre experience highlighting its special ties with great chefs for over 30 years. The restaurant selected was the two-Michelin Suhring by the twin chefs Thomas and Mathias Suhring. We enjoyed a lunch of progressive German cuisine hosted by Jalil El Kouch-Bordier, Blancpain area sales manager and Kris bhimayothin, brand manager Thailand.
And finally dinner by Dilmah tea to announce the winners of a competition to create gourmet dishes and drinks using Ceylon tea as the key ingredient. Tasanee Asawagovitwong, general manager of importer Global Premium Wine, organised the competition with 18 hotels across the country participating. The judges consisted of Dilhan C Fernando, CEO of Dilmah, Australian chef and Dilmah brand ambassador Peter Kuruvita and mixologist Tomek Malek. The dinner was held at Rosewood Bangkok.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: August 5-11